There are all these articles circulating about children being addicted to technology. Children not developing proper skills due to technology. Kids addicted to devices. What is the root cause? Us… Humans. We have become a society so dependent on a small time sucking devices in our pockets. We are told we need to be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are showing it to our kids, our loved ones. That that demand is real… and true.

We demand instant gratification. We don’t have an answer, but Google does… as we pull out our phones at the dinner table or next social gathering. We are slaves. So how can we say we are not addicted ourselves?

The powerful tool of knowledge only sits a few clicks away. We abuse it, or use as a crutch to make us feel comfortable, feel smart, important, or can even make you feel more alone. Our technology helps us share stories, save lives, create success, connect.

But all that we need to learn to disconnect from technology to LIVE, to GROW. The key is self-control, self-management.

I dare you to look at your own time. How do you spend your morning? What are the first 10 minutes as you open your eyes?

I know my typical morning… My phone is used as my alarm clock however it has been at least 1 year since I have heard the “sweet chimes” of that alarm. I am always up before it goes off. Weekday or weekend I am awake when the sun streams through my bedroom window. When my body decides to get up… it usually the crack of dawn when the house is quiet. My family still nestled in their beds.

I used to sit on my phone in that silence. Doing nothing. Consumed in other peoples’ worlds in far-off lands. That’s how I would spend the first hours of my day not 10 minutes… Hours… now I have introduced better habits to my morning routine to writing, sketching, reading.

I started realizing how consumed I am on my phone/computer/tablet. I have chosen to make an effort over the last year to leave the phone and be present in the moment. It’s nice to have snaps, photos, boomerangs, videos of a moment but if you are too consumed with taking that perfect shot. Are you really enjoying the moment?

Be AWARE!

This is my opinion. I believe in everything in moderation. Too much of one thing is bad. Technology, Food: sugar, fake sugar, bread, milk, water?…… I could go on and on about all the “bad” stuff. Is it really bad? or are we just not eating the right things at the right time in the right amounts?

We have to teach ourselves as well as our future generations about self-control, self-moderation. We have to look out for ourselves and the ones we love. The media is going to tell you everything: BE CONNECTED. SHARE NOW. COME IN TODAY. TAG ME. CHECK IN TO WIN. You have to make the choice. Set healthy limits for yourself and your children.

I spent the weekend outdoors, playing in the dirt, basking in the sunshine with my son, visiting and celebrating achievements with family. We went to a local market (Travelling Gypsies Trade Show) on Saturday filled with fellow entrepreneurs with handmade items all made locally. Then we picked up a lunch from Grains Bakery and took it home to eat a picnic in the backyard with the dogs.

After a long winter, I choose to limit my use of technology as a crutch. Less technology to occupy my free time, my son’s time to “pass the day.” There is a time and place for the crutch of technology. But I challenge you to look at your own usage. Put the phone down and enjoy human interaction, enjoy life, savor the moment.

Take photos as you want! Live how you what! Live in the moment, create the positive memory to attach to those records of time. As we all know memories tend to fade over the years but great ones recalled with a photo/video are special.

You have the choice to read a story to your kids or let an app do it for you. You have the choice to teach someone something new through talking and using sheer intellectual brain power. You have the choice to live and travel to see the world. Or the choice to live behind a screen and watch someone else travel for you.

Behind a screen, you can’t smell, taste or sense the world. Choose how much time you and your loved ones have sucked away from you. Technology is a tool. Play with it. Use it as a toy. Don’t make yourself the tool to technology. You have a choice.